- The Washington Times - Monday, August 3, 2020

The appointment of retired Army Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata to be the Pentagon’s policy chief was an “insult to our troops,” Sen. Jack Reed, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Sunday.

President Trump’s controversial pick, whose nomination hearing for the top policy job at the Pentagon was abruptly canceled Thursday, will instead serve in a senior role that does not require Senate confirmation.

Members on both sides of the aisle had expressed skepticism of the nomination after polarizing remarks he had made on social media were discovered, including criticizing Islam and calling former President Barack Obama a “terrorist leader.”

Gen. Tata has since apologized for the remarks.

“It’s hard to see how General Tata can do an effective job given the serious questions raised by both parties during a closed Executive Session of the Armed Services Committee last week, and General Tata’s many incorrect and divisive public commentary,” Mr. Reed, of Rhode Island, said in a statement Sunday evening obtained by The Washington Times.

“Until the issues raised by Senators of both parties can be resolved, General Tata should not be serving in a position in the Defense Department.”

He said that the appointment itself, “is an insult to our troops, professionals at the Pentagon, the Senate and the American people.”

“Clearly, President Trump wants people who will swear allegiance to him over the Constitution,” the ranking member said. “This is a flagrant end run around the confirmation process.”

Gen. Tata will instead perform the duties of “the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Policy reporting to the Acting Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Dr. James Anderson,” according to a Pentagon official.

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